BLOG HOP--The Next Big Thing
The rules for the Blog Hop are as follows:
1. Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you.
2. Post the rules for the Blog Hop.
3. Answer these 10 question about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog.
4. Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
I currently have two works in progress. The first is Rise of the Penguins, which is headed toward an early December release. So that one is no longer a working title. The second is tentatively titled Rise of the Penguins: Terra Borealis. This makes reference to the title page of the first book Terra Australis which I left out of the and gives a clue as to where the events will lead in the second book. Terra Australis meaning Southern Land and Terra Borealis meaning Northern Land.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This goes way back to my high school days. I wrote a short story in my English composition class explaining why there were no penguins in the north. I was reading a lot of Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County at the time, so Opus the penguin was a major influence on me. Combine that with one of my earliest film memories being Planet of the Apes and being a lover of sci-fi/fantasy and you get this. Fast-forward to 2005 when my daughter was chatting to a friend online and I jumped in her conversation and wrote something about penguins attacking. I then kicked her off the computer and started writing.
What genre does your book fall under?
I would call this a Modern Fantasy. The story is told largely from the penguins point of view, which is not to say there isn't a strong human element within the story. The penguins are intelligent and have a society/culture and can communicate across species lines. They are ruled over by a highly developed species of penguins which I named the Royal Emperors. Besides the inevitable battles with humans, there are fights with Leopard Seals, Red-Devil Squid, and eventually with other non-conforming penguin clans.
What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That's a really tough question. I don't watch a lot of television so I don't know who the 'hot' stars are. Since the movie would have to be mainly cgi I would have to say Mark Hamil for the voice of Lavour, a Chinstrap penguin and the protagonist of the story. Hamil was brilliant as the voice of the Joker in the Batman animated series. For Lavour's companions Nok, a Rockhopper penguin, and Leepoh, a Gentoo penguin, I would choose John Rhys-Davies for Nok and somebody with a good fast-talking comedic voice for Leepoh, though I don't know who. For the two main human characters I think David Wenham, Faramir--Lord of the Rings, would be a good fit for Randy and maybe Kristanna Loken from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, to play Gina.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
An ancient race of penguins have reemerged, united the penguin clans and manipulated them into warfare against the humans in retribution for generations injustice and to rid their territory of a human presence once for all.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will be self-publishing. I enjoy the creative control. Which is not to say I wouldn't consider an offer by a publisher. We'll see what happens after the release of my first novel.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I was working a lot of hours while writing Rise of the Penguins. I couldn't be home to write, so I wrote the entire thing by hand in notebooks while on breaks at work. During that time I had to have Carpal Tunnel surgery, which set me back considerably. On top of that I was then bogged down by heart problems and living in an environment which wasn't conducive to creativity. So the first book was a years long endeavor. The second is moving along much, much quicker.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I would have to say it's a mix of George Orwell's Animal Farm, Richard Admas' Watership Down, with Aragorn's story within Lord of the Rings. Hopefully readers will see this as a unique story unto itself. The best compliment I've had was when my editor said she kept getting so involved with the story that she had to remind herself to edit.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I would have to say the daily struggles of life inspired me to write this. Well that and my lifelong love of penguins. I had started and stopped several stories prior to this. Work and raising kids and seemingly unending life challenges always kept me from chasing the dream. In the end I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of translating the visions in my mind to paper, and inspire my children to hold onto their dreams and if I, a man who worked a series of mindless construction and other jobs, could do this then they can achieve whatever goals they set their sights on. I have to admit that there was a time when I was ready to give up on it, but my wife Joy came along and found me, picked me up off the ground and her steadfast belief in me inspired me to see this thing through.
What else about your book might pique your reader's interest?
First off, this is not a young reader's book. It is the antithesis of the animated films such as Happy Feet, Surf's Up, and stuff like that. There are violent and real life type struggles within the story. The characters face heart-break and loss, betrayal, and are placed in situations where death is very real. Through this they discover friendships, love, and their responsibilities to others. They also learn that there is a high price for revenge and that it is never as sweet as imagined. The reader will experience the same anger, relief, frustration, and joy as the characters. The story is at times deadly serious but also has an underlying lightheartedness to it all. The story will continue in book 2 and I also plan on releasing a few short stories which coincide with the events in the books. I have started brainstorming for a prequel which takes place 1000 years before the events of Rise of the Penguins. So this will be a place for the reader to escape to for some time.
And now for the writers I want to tag:
Tirzah Duncan, author of Ever the Actor (coming soon). http://inkcaster.wordpress.com/
Roh Morgon, Author of Watcher: Book 1 of the Chosen http://www.rohmorgon.com/blog/
Richard Long, author of The Book of Paul http://www.thebookofpaul.com/
Matthew Pizzolato, author of Outlaw http://thewesternwordslinger.blogspot.com/
Micheal Jordan, author currently working on several projects. http://michaelpjordan.wordpress.com/
That about does it for me. I would like to thank John Daulton, http://daultonbooks.com for thinking of me and tagging me. Check out his site and pick up a copy of The Galactic Mage. I had a great time. Be sure to check all of these wonderful writers works and blogs.